India take on Australia in the ICC Women's World Cup 2017 second semi-final on Thursday, July 20, at the County Ground in Derby.
Mithali Raj's side face an uphill task as they take on the holders and six-time champions, against whom they suffered a crushing eight-wicket loss in their penultimate group stage-encounter on July 12.
India have lost to Australia seven times in their last eight meetings, making it 34-8 in favour of the world champions overall. However, India have put a much-improved show in the ongoing tournament, despite suffering a couple of blips en route to the semi-final.
And at Derby, India have won all their four group stage matches, including the impressive 35-run victory against England, who have already made it to the final beating South Africa in their last-four outing on Tuesday, July 18.
Notably, the Women in Blue are making their first semi-final appearance since 2005. Australia, on the other hand, have made it to the semi-final in all the 10 editions of the tournament.
Too many numbers? Well, this is what the Indian skipper Raj, who is playing her final World Cup, is thinking as well. The 34-year-old, who became the first woman cricketer to surpass 6,000 ODI runs, believes it all comes down to which of the two teams respond to the high-pressure situation better.
"We will make sure we are really clear what our plans are. It is all about how the teams respond to the situation and the conditions on the day," Raj said.
"But for this Indian team, it is going to be a big game and if we can pull out one win, it will be exceptional by the team," she added.
Notably, India qualified for the semi-final by decimating one of the tournament favourites, New Zealand, by a mammoth 186-run margin in a do-or-die situation last week.
Raj led from the front with a ton and middle-order batswoman Veda Krishnamurthy struck a quickfire 70 to help the team post 265, which in the end proved too much for Suzie Bates' side.
Left-arm spinner Rajeshwari Gayakwad, who was playing her first match of the tournament, starred with a five-wicket haul.
A lot of credit for the team's success in the ongoing tournament should go to the Indian spinners -- Ekta Bisht, Deepti Sharma and Poonam Yadav -- who have snared 26 wickets between them. However, with Gayakwad's match-winning performance against New Zealand, Raj has a problem of plenty when it comes to the spin department.
It will be important for openers Smriti Mandhana and Poonam Raut, who have been inconsistent, to step up and deliver against Australia, who have won six of their seven matches with all-round performances in the tournament. Notably, the latter should feel confident ahead of the semi-final as she scored a ton against the holders in their group stage meeting.
When is the match and how to watch it live
- Date: July 12
- Time: 09:30 GMT | 15:00 IST
- Venue: County Ground, Derby
INDIA: TV - Star Sports 1/HD. Live stream - Hotstar
AUSTRALIA: TV - Channel Nine, Fox Sports. Live stream - Fox Sports Live
UK: TV - Sky Sports. Live stream - Sky Go